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I’ve been using this laundry soap recipe for some years now.  If I can figure out where the heck it came from originally, I’ll credit the original poster of this recipe.  As for now it’s been tweaked here and there to suit my washing needs and it has worked well for me.  I have used it with older machines and the newer, more energy-efficient machines.  As far as the environmental impact of the ingredients, both washing soda and borax have long been considered eco-friendly alternatives to commercial laundry products.  Fels-naptha is a little harder to pin down.   It does contain stoddard solvent, which is essentially mineral spirits.  Considering you use such a small amount in each batch and a batch (depending on how much laundry you do) lasts for months, I would think that as compared to commercially-prepared laundry detergents you are probably as ok as you can be.  It is impossible to be zero-impact, so here is where I will leave it up to you.  A better choice might be a homemade soap, which I intend to try at some point this year.  But for cleaning, Fels-Naptha is fabulous.  Some people like to use Ivory because it is free of dyes and perfumes.

*1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap (this stuff is good so you don’t need much)

*1  cup washing soda

*1 cup borax powder

You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size.

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.  The smaller the shavings, the easier it will melt.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts.  Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.  Add your soap mixture and stir.  Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir.  Let sit for about 24 hours and it will look like a watery gel. You use ½ cup per load.

You can clean out and re-use old laundry soap containers or buy some inexpensive plastic containers at a dollar store.  You can even use old milk/orange juice/water jugs.   To save a little more dough on the ‘ol electric bill, put up a laundry line (or two) in your back yard.  Line-dried clothing smells so good. Some fabrics can feel a little crisp after drying outside on the line.   This can be remedied by popping them in the dryer for just a few minutes.

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